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phantomlord2oo's picture
Maryland
Oct 2003
5 years ago

Does anyone know what tubes Metallica uses in their amps? i've gotten so close to their tone, this is one of the road blocks I couldn't get any info on. I only need the info for the following amps:

Mesa/Boogie Mark IV
Mesa/Boogie Rectifier
Mesa/Boogie Triaxis (Most Importantly!)
Mesa/Boogie Strategy 400 Power Amp

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also, another question. I have a Mesa/Boogie 2:90 Power Amp. Can I achieve the same tone as the Strategy 400 with my power amp?

+Mike+

Proud member of the MESA family.

Amps:
ADA MP-1 Preamp
Gibson Duo-Medalist Combo
Marshall JCM800 Horizontal Input 2204S
Mesa/Boogie 2:90 Power Amp
Mesa/Boogie Dual RACKtifier
Mesa/Boogie Mark II C+ Coliseum
Mesa/Boogie Mark III (Purple Stripe)
Mesa/Boogie Mark IVA Short Chassis
Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp
Mesa/Boogie Triaxis Preamp
Perfect Connection GP-1000 Preamp
Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Combo
Roland Micro Cube

Full Gear Listing

Myspace

danj's picture
Moorhead, MN
Apr 2004
9 years ago

Well, if they follow the rules, they're using Mesa branded tubes, as required by the non ability to bias an amp :)

Also, I really don't mean to get too OT or start a flame, but I think if you're close enough with tone where you think changing tubes will make a difference, you've gone too far. Especially when so many things affect the tone like the microphones used, the placement, which preamps used, how much whiskey james had that day in the studio...

Bogner Shiva EL34
Bogner 4x12 2 V30s 2 GBs
Bogner 2x12 Oversized

Gibson Les Paul Studio
Hamer USA Studio Custom
Hamer XT Studio Goldtop

HBE Power Screamer
MXR Super Comp
For Sale
Boss NS-2 $60

Older Gear Shots

JonSullivan's picture
San Bruno
Nov 2005
7 years ago

I think he's right, dude turn back now, this is a little scary

Proud member of the Orange Family

Rig
Gibson Les Paul (59 and JB with coil tap)
American Caifornia Designer Strat (JB jr in bridge)
Taylor 314CE

Peterson StroboStomp
Budda Wah
Fulldrive 2
Boss DS-1 Vodka Longhorn Mod
Boss GE-7 Sniper (Black)
Ernie Ball VP Jr

(in loop)
Boss GE-7 Sniper (Grey)
Boss Ce-2 (Soon to be Modded by Keeley)
Boss Dm-2 (I bought)
Boss Dm-2 (My girlfriend bought)

Voodoo Labs Pedal power 2

Amps:
Orange AD30TC Combo w/ FX Loop
Fender Bandmaster Reverb TFL 5005D
Crate Palomino V16

off board:
Fulltone 69
Boss PH-1r

Gas:
Attenuator
Marshall Silver Jubilee
Gibson SG Classic
EVM-12L's

thefobia's picture
Leeds, England
Oct 2003
7 years ago

A big part of the metallica tone is double tracking and layering lots of different amps. Try running through two of your amps at the same time, by using a stereo delay with the delay time set at about 6-15m/s and a single repeat.

Then EQ each amp differently. EQ the amp with the biggest low-mid bass response to handle the low end chunk and use the amp with the clearest high-mid/treble frequencies for the top end. It makes the guitar sound 3D.:) Experiment with combinations of amps and EQ. I think that will bring you closer to their tone than simply changing your power tubes.

Quote:

Originally posted by Talent?!
I've got a locking nut, old rugby injury

Quote:

Originally posted by fatgraymatt
I like a good scream as much as the next guy.

Call me Tommy

Iconoclysm's picture
Mar 2006
9 years ago

Three responses and nobody even tried to answer the Q?!

First off, this is not 1989, Metallica doesn't use that kind of multi-track guitar layering to get their tones anymore.

Metallica uses Mesas primarily for their preamps. Starting around the Lightning/Puppets era, using the Mark II preamp into a Marshall power section. James liked to use a tubescreamer with it on the rhythms for the lightning album but got rid of the pedals for puppets. Further down the road, they turned to the Mesa Triaxis (modified) and finally the Rectifier for use as a preamp, and switching out power amps all along.

Currently, Kirk uses the Dual Rec for his preamp into the Strategy 400. Why? Because the Strategy 400 is half 6L6 and half EL34 - he gets the best of both that way.

You can use other tubes than Mesa tubes in a Mesa amp so long as you stay within the proper voltage ranges depending on the tube type. I'd bet that Metallica does not use Mesa "branded" tubes but I've wondered the same myself.

As for those discouraging him, there is no single tone that Metallica has. It's evolved over the years, and finding that tone could be just the starting ground for developing his own tone.

Guitars:
ESP KH-2 and Viper, Jackson Kelly Pro

Amps:
VOX AD50VT - practice amp - best $350 ever spent. Line 6 has nothing on these.

Rack:

Monster Pro 2500 Power Center
Modified Ibanez TS-7 Tube Screamer
Mesa Recto Preamp
TC Electronics G-System
Mesa 2:100 Power Amp w/JJ KT77's loaded
Mesa 4x12 Standard Cab

thefobia's picture
Leeds, England
Oct 2003
7 years ago

Originally posted by Iconoclysm
Three responses and nobody even tried to answer the Q?!

First off, this is not 1989, Metallica doesn't use that kind of multi-track guitar layering to get their tones anymore.

Metallica uses Mesas primarily for their preamps. Starting around the Lightning/Puppets era, using the Mark II preamp into a Marshall power section. James liked to use a tubescreamer with it on the rhythms for the lightning album but got rid of the pedals for puppets. Further down the road, they turned to the Mesa Triaxis (modified) and finally the Rectifier for use as a preamp, and switching out power amps all along.

Currently, Kirk uses the Dual Rec for his preamp into the Strategy 400. Why? Because the Strategy 400 is half 6L6 and half EL34 - he gets the best of both that way.

You can use other tubes than Mesa tubes in a Mesa amp so long as you stay within the proper voltage ranges depending on the tube type. I'd bet that Metallica does not use Mesa "branded" tubes but I've wondered the same myself.

As for those discouraging him, there is no single tone that Metallica has. It's evolved over the years, and finding that tone could be just the starting ground for developing his own tone.

Really? I thought on the last album james used Diezel, Wizard and Mesa amps to get his tone...

Quote:

Originally posted by Talent?!
I've got a locking nut, old rugby injury

Quote:

Originally posted by fatgraymatt
I like a good scream as much as the next guy.

Call me Tommy

Iconoclysm's picture
Mar 2006
9 years ago

I was referring to Kirk's gear recently - in the studio, they still throw everything at the wall and keep what sticks. Also, both James and Kirk have been on the rhythm since Load, split to L and R in stereo to get a much more natural sound. So though James had about 10 different amps that he went through on St. Anger, he ended up using that Diesel and Wizard 4x12 a lot. I bet this is partly due to them trying to get the guitar tracks down in as few takes as possible to keep that "fresh" sound they were looking for. James had even been using a 5150 during the early stages of the album.

It was after this that Kirk started using the Dual Rec (after he found that he didn't like the Triple Rec) into the Strategy 400. He mentions that he uses a TubeScreamer in front of the preamp at all times now, not just for solos.

"We were having fun using all sorts of different amps. Every day James and Kirk would bring in a new amp and plug it in, and if that inspired us, that would start the song. We added a 50-watt Wizard and a Marshall DSL 2000, and they sounded great. And Kirk's been collecting lots of vintage amps, so we tried a few of tohse. The only other amp that was an oddball was a Silvertone that I bought just down the street. We've used that pretty much for anything that was dirty-clean, and with an RCA RC44 mic on it, it sounds amazing." Guitar World, August 2003

So yeah, let's just pretend this last album doesn't exist as far as traditional Metallica tone goes!! Who knows what they're working with in the studio right now...

Guitars:
ESP KH-2 and Viper, Jackson Kelly Pro

Amps:
VOX AD50VT - practice amp - best $350 ever spent. Line 6 has nothing on these.

Rack:

Monster Pro 2500 Power Center
Modified Ibanez TS-7 Tube Screamer
Mesa Recto Preamp
TC Electronics G-System
Mesa 2:100 Power Amp w/JJ KT77's loaded
Mesa 4x12 Standard Cab

nofearfactor's picture
cold,dark.
Dec 2005
4 years ago

really who cares what they use...why don't you concentrate on and spend your money on trying to get your own tone?much easier and satisfying in the end.then maybe some kid someday will be writing some forum and argueing about what it is you use to get your sound.

phantomlord2oo's picture
Maryland
Oct 2003
5 years ago

umm... i care what they use. and i do have my own tone. it's like the black album meets garage days (old days) with more gain meets van halen, slayer and a bunch of noise. my tone is a mix of everything that i listen to.

+Mike+

Proud member of the MESA family.

Amps:
ADA MP-1 Preamp
Gibson Duo-Medalist Combo
Marshall JCM800 Horizontal Input 2204S
Mesa/Boogie 2:90 Power Amp
Mesa/Boogie Dual RACKtifier
Mesa/Boogie Mark II C+ Coliseum
Mesa/Boogie Mark III (Purple Stripe)
Mesa/Boogie Mark IVA Short Chassis
Mesa/Boogie Studio Preamp
Mesa/Boogie Triaxis Preamp
Perfect Connection GP-1000 Preamp
Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Combo
Roland Micro Cube

Full Gear Listing

Myspace

nofearfactor's picture
cold,dark.
Dec 2005
4 years ago

I can dig that...cause you got alot of equipment.some cool stuff.......

thefobia's picture
Leeds, England
Oct 2003
7 years ago

Originally posted by nofearfactor
really who cares what they use...why don't you concentrate on and spend your money on trying to get your own tone?much easier and satisfying in the end.then maybe some kid someday will be writing some forum and argueing about what it is you use to get your sound.

Well for one thing it teaches you about the importance of all the component parts which make a rig. It's no use just having a mesa recto to get 'the metallica tone'. The metallica tone is more than just an amp.

Secondly it's nice to have a good starting point to find your own tone. There's some great tips and tricks that the pro's rigs can give us for our own rigs.

Thirdly this site started off as a database of pro-rigs, so its a perfectly viable topic.

I like Zakk Wylde's tone. I think it is interesting what gear he uses to achieve it. Infact I picked up on a few things that he does, but I don't use two Marshall JCM800s nor do I use EMGs in all my guitars.

Quote:

Originally posted by Talent?!
I've got a locking nut, old rugby injury

Quote:

Originally posted by fatgraymatt
I like a good scream as much as the next guy.

Call me Tommy